02 August 2011

All that paranoia and howling for nothing

I swung by the Parents Television Council website today and found the PTC's latest review of Worst Cable Show of the Week being the Comedy Central series Jon Benjamin Has a Van. I've never heard of that show; it's amazing how much about TV I can learn from those professional prudes!

The author begins with this complaint about how Hollywood abuses children
Movies, television, and other sectors of the entertainment industry keep up a non-stop barrage of graphic, ultra-violent, sexual, and profane programming…and send it out over the publicly-owned airwaves and via cable and satellite systems, where even the youngest children can be exposed to it. And in the case of cable and satellite, the industry even FORCES subscribers to pay for such content, even if they never watch it. Apparently, those in the entertainment industry believe that, despite the proliferation of technology today, parents are capable of being, and ought to spend, at their children’s side every second, monitoring every single thing they see. This in spite of the industry’s own deliberate program of pushing clearly adult programming at kids, and their own measures taken to ensure that they are not bound by even commonsense restrictions.
This big ol' word salad precedes PTC's admission that the show is aired at 10:30PM Eastern time (an hour earlier in the central/mountain zones, and even earlier in the west coast on satellite). And the PTC didn't even acknowledge that the show is rated TV-14-L - unsuitable for children under 14 due to language, in plain English.

Does PTC not realize that under the current cable TV bundling system EVERYONE pays for SOMETHING they don't watch/like at all? PTC laid out its own example of its like-minded viewers who pay for offensive programs on Comedy Central if they subscribe to cable. I'll lay out some other examples:
  • Liberals subsidizing Fox News Channel or the religious networks (those networks often have a right-wing bent too).
  • Conservatives subsidizing MSNBC
  • Childless adults subsidizing the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network
  • Jewish, Muslim, any non-Christian subscriber subsidizing EWTN, Trinity Broadcasting Network, any religious cable channel
And since when has Comedy Central been aimed towards children and families? If so then why does the network rate most of its shows TV-14 or TV-MA (mature audiences) anyway? I acknowledge for sure there are TV shows and movies and video games out there that kids shouldn't be exposed to. But to insinuate that the entertainment industry wants to market rated-R films straight at kids is just ridiculous and overblown. As for parents "monitoring every single thing" that kids see then what are the V-chip and cable channel blocks for then?

If PTC really wants to combat bad stuff being marketed towards children why don't they join First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign for healthier eating? Why is PTC all up in arms about violence and sex in TV shows that kids shouldn't even be watching in the first place yet remain silent about McDonald's and Burger King and fast food restaurants marketing junk food to kids and contributing to the obesity epidemic? In fact, in 2005, the PTC criticized the Carl's Jr. fast food chain over PARIS HILTON - yep the slutty blonde spoiled trust fund girl - appearing in a sexual manner in ads. But when has the PTC ever criticized Carl's Jr for its kids meals? PTC does the same ol' thing for the other fast food companies for advertising on offensive programming (y'know, 10PM crime dramas and all that stuff that 7-year-olds shouldn't be watching because they should be in bed) but never attacks those companies for doing DIRECT harm to kids through fatty meals! McDonald's, Burger King, and other junk food companies and agribusiness, all of which have benefitted from massive corporate welfare, has caused more harm to American children than any stupid TV show or violent video game or corny pop song ever has.

By the way I wonder how many people who take PTC's advice regularly feed their kids processed/junk food? I'm not being stereotypical of people who agree with the PTC views, but I'm just asking.

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